Kahlil Carter: Why I stepped down as defensive coordinator of the Alouettes

Kahlil Carter stepped down as defensive coordinator of the Montreal Alouettes on Thursday to take on a scouting position with the club. In this interview with 3DownNation’s Drew Edwards, he discusses what led to the move, what it means for the team and his role going forward.

3Down: Can you explain the reasons for your decision?

Carter: “People are calling me, asking if I have family issues, it’s just crazy. I stepped down for personal reasons. I don’t think anybody speculated why [former Argos DC] Corey Chamblin stepped down. He stepped down for personal reasons and people respected that. My wife and I are good, my family is good. My end goal is to be a general manager, not to be a coach in the CFL. Our organization is changing direction, new [Montreal DC] Rich Stubler is in pocket and they’re letting me go into a scouting role where I can have some autonomy over my schedule and I can help them in personnel. I worked as a scout in the arena league for three years, I helped the Alouettes in free agency during the off-season. Scouting and personnel makes more sense for me and my family. It’s a beautiful situation for me. I have a two-year contract, same terms and I get to work from home, show up in Montreal, help them build a great team and expand on my professional diversity.”

3Down: With training camp set to open in less than two weeks, the timing has raised some eyebrows.

Carter: “Why not do it now? I’ve done the work to prepare this defence to win games. The playbook is ready and it’s immaculate. The philosophy is there and much of it is shared with Stubler so he’ll have no problem transitioning using the language I’ve used to build the defence into his own structure. If Stubler wasn’t there, I wouldn’t be doing this. I did the work in personnel, we had a great free agency period and our draft was good. There’s already a good Canadian ratio and everything is built for them to have success. I think Stubler is going to do great and I’m just going to step back and help them from behind the scenes. I’m going to use my education and my experience in a less visible role. It doesn’t mean that I’m disappearing out of the CFL, it just means I’m choosing my family over coaching right now and the Alouettes are okay with that.”

3Down: How did this decision come about?

Carter: “I live in Iowa. I’ve been contemplating this for a couple of months and the organization has given me the chance to still be involved and still be with my family. I think if everybody understands that “personal reasons” are my own reasons, then they don’t have to speculate if somebody did this or that. Kavis is my brother and I love him to death and he loves me and we talked very candidly over the last couple of months about things and that’s why it’s been such an easy transition for him and for me and everything is where it is supposed to be. My wife is ecstatic believe me. I have an older daughter who is going through some life transitions, a 17-year-old daughter who is going into college, a nine-year-old stepdaughter and a two-year-old daughter. My wife works full-time and it was tough without me when I was in Calgary, even though she was on board. There’s a lot of things to consider for our family and so the Alouettes have given me another role and that’s a win for everyone.

“Here I am trying to push this coaching door open and God is telling me ‘your family, your family, your family.’ This offseason really gave me a chance to see it. There are people in my family who really need me right now and the Montreal Alouettes were gracious enough to give me an opportunity to go into scouting and work from home and have a more flexible schedule. The timing is right and I’m very grateful for that. It can’t be ‘faith, football and family’ anymore it has to be ‘faith, family and football.’ It was like that in Calgary; I was trying to win a championship so bad and people fumbled away my championships. I put so much into it and I can’t put football front of my family anymore. I have to put my family first that’s just the way it is.”